Tesla made a wireless iPhone charger and it's incredible

Tesla's charger looks like the one Apple never quite got round to making – and it costs even more

Tesla Wireless Charger
(Image credit: Tesla)

While Elon Musk is apparently focused on his Twitter tomfoolery and social media shenanigans, his engineers back at Tesla have been getting on with the day job – and their latest product looks really interesting. It's a wireless charger that's capable of charging not one, not two but three devices simultaneously, and it's due to launch in February.

It reminds me very much of Apple's doomed AirPower project, which aimed to deliver multi-device charging. The Tesla version enables you to put your Qi-compatible devices anywhere on the charger to deliver up to 15W charging per device. 

Tesla says this was inspired by the design of the Cybertruck, but I don't see it: the charger looks pretty sleek and stylish, whereas to my eyes the truck looks like an 80s Big Trak toy wrapped in tin foil.

Big Trak

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

Should you buy the Tesla Wireless Charger?

Good question. At $300 it's ridiculously expensive, and double what you'd pay for a 3-in-1 from the likes of Belkin. It's definitely a bad buy for iPhone 14, iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 users, because it isn't MagSafe; Apple only supports Qi wireless charging of 7.5W, and the Apple Watch doesn't support Qi at all.

For everybody else, the answer is... we'll see. Apple got as far as announcing its AirPower device before cancelling it at the last minute because it couldn't overcome interference and heat problems; the platform Tesla is using, FreePower, hasn't been trouble-free either. So it's possible that this might not ship, or ship on the planned launch date.

Tesla does have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver – Elon's been promising full self-driving "next year" since 2014 and promised his Neurolink brain interface would be in humans by 2020 – so forgive me if I'm taking this announcement with a pinch of salt. It might be brilliant when it arrives, but there are tons of the best wireless chargers you can buy right now for a lot less cash.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).